- Father David M. Knight
Father David's Reflection for the Second Wednesday of Advent
The Responsorial Psalm gives us an answer to discouragement: “O bless the Lord, my soul!” (Psalm 103).
Discouragement is the greatest obstacle we have to overcome in seeking fulfillment in life. After all, to be totally fulfilled, to live life “to the full,” is to be like God. And Isaiah 40: 25-31 quotes God asking: “To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal?”
And yet, Jesus said that the goal of his life was just this: “I came that they might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
To be “full” is to be filled to our capacity, whatever that is. Since the human mind can know God exists, we can never be totally satisfied until we k\now God as he is — which is beyond human nature. We, alone among creatures, have a desire for something we cannot attain. There is something in us that is open — and longing — for a fulfillment that nothing in us can achieve. Yet Jesus came to give “life to the full,” and he said, “This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
That is why it is in Jesus alone that we can find “life to the full.” By being incorporated into him at Baptism, we share in his divine life. “In Christ” we are “sons in the Son,” children of God who share in God’s divine nature. “In Christ” we know God by sharing in God’s own act of knowing himself.
“In Christ” we can also do what Christ does. “The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do….” “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing “ (John 14:12, 15:5). This is why Paul said, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). “O bless the Lord, my soul!”
In Matthew 11: 28-30 Jesus draws the conclusion: “Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you.” To succeed, let Jesus work with you, in you and through you. When you feel down, “Lift up your eyes on high…. The Lord does not faint nor grow weary…. They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings.” When you feel discouraged remind yourself, “Jesus Christ is acting in me and through me! O bless the Lord, my soul!”
Initiative: If you seek fulfillment, seek it where it can be found. Work with Jesus. Keep saying all day, “Lord, do this with me, do this in me, do this through me. Let me think with your thoughts and speak with your words and act as your body on earth.”